Building Your Career Network


It’s been said that 80% of jobs are made through informal offers; that is, they’re never even posted online or printed in newspapers. This means that the importance of the Carleton network — and chances for alumni and students to meet, network, and connect — are more important than ever.

Whether you are beginning your job search, investigating careers and organizations, or seeking information about internships, Carleton alumni serve as excellent research resources, providing you approach them in a professional manner. With the advent of the online alumni directory, informational interviews can easily be arranged and executed, providing you with a valuable view of your potential profession.

Although contacting alumni may seem daunting, be assured that most are definitely willing to offer their knowledge and advice.

Benefits of networking

  • Increased insight into a career field, organization, or specific job
  • Awareness of available internship and summer job opportunities
  • Reinforced assessment of your interests and needs
  • Greater confidence in job and internship interview situations
  • Industry contacts

If correctly utilized, alumni contacts can help you build a powerful career network, which is vital today as two-thirds of the workforce secure jobs through personal contacts. To enhance your alumni networking experience, read through the pages below on the networking process, questions to ask alums, and etiquette tips, including the following:

  • View an email as you would a cover letter; it’s a professional contact
  • Check spelling and grammar
  • Check alumni gender so you know whether to say Mr. or Ms.
  • Choose a professional tone rather than informality
  • Always follow up to let the alum know what has happened as a result of your interactions with them

View the Networking Guide for more tips and tricks.